Manual deployment

Applies to:

Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (Microsoft Defender ATP) for Mac


This topic relates to the pre-release version of Microsoft Defender ATP for Mac. Microsoft Defender ATP for Mac is not yet widely available. Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information provided here.

Prerequisites and system requirements

Before you get started, please see the main Microsoft Defender ATP for Mac page for a description of prerequisites and system requirements for the current software version.

Download installation and onboarding packages

Download the installation and onboarding packages from Windows Defender Security Center:

  1. In Windows Defender Security Center, go to Settings > Machine Management > Onboarding.

  2. In Section 1 of the page, set operating system to Linux, macOS, iOS or Android and Deployment method to Local script.

  3. In Section 2 of the page, select Download installation package. Save it as wdav.pkg to a local directory.

  4. In Section 2 of the page, select Download onboarding package. Save it as to the same directory.

    Windows Defender Security Center screenshot

  5. From a command prompt, verify that you have the two files. Extract the contents of the .zip files:

    mavel-macmini:Downloads test$ ls -l
    total 721152
    -rw-r--r--  1 test  staff       6185 Mar 15 10:45
    -rw-r--r--  1 test  staff  354531845 Mar 13 08:57 wdav.pkg
    mavel-macmini:Downloads test$ unzip

Application installation

To complete this process, you must have admin privileges on the machine.

  1. Navigate to the downloaded wdav.pkg in Finder and open it.

    App install screenshot

  2. Select Continue, agree with the License terms, and enter the password when prompted.

    App install screenshot


    You will be prompted to allow a driver from Microsoft to be installed (either "System Exception Blocked" or "Installation is on hold" or both. The driver must be allowed to be installed.

    App install screenshot

  3. Select Open Security Preferences or Open System Preferences > Security & Privacy. Select Allow:

    Security and privacy window screenshot

The installation will proceed.


If you don't select Allow, the installation will proceed after 5 minutes. Defender ATP will be loaded, but real-time protection will be disabled.

Fixing disabled Real Time Protection

If you did not enable Microsoft's driver during installation, then Defender's application will display a banner prompting you to enable it:

RTP disabled screenshot

You can also run mdatp --health. It will report if Real Time Protection is enabled but not available:

mavel-mojave:~ testuser$ mdatp --health
realTimeProtectionAvailable             : false
realTimeProtectionEnabled               : true


You have a 30 minute window to enable Real Time Protection from the warning banner, immediately following installation.

The warning banner containing a Fix button, which allows you to quickly enable Real Time Protection, without having to open a command prompt. Select the Fix button. It will prompt the Security & Privacy system window, where you will have to Allow system software from developers "Microsoft Corporation".

If you don't see a prompt, it means that 30 or more minutes have already passed, and Real Time Protection has still not been enabled:

Security and privacy window after prompt expired screenshot

In this case, you will need to perform the following steps to enable Real Time Protection instead.

  1. In Terminal, attempt to install the driver. (The operation will fail)

    mavel-mojave:~ testuser$ sudo kextutil /Library/Extensions/wdavkext.kext
    Kext rejected due to system policy: <OSKext 0x7fc34d528390 [0x7fffa74aa8e0]> { URL = "file:///Library/StagedExtensions/Library/Extensions/wdavkext.kext/", ID = "" }
    Kext rejected due to system policy: <OSKext 0x7fc34d528390 [0x7fffa74aa8e0]> { URL = "file:///Library/StagedExtensions/Library/Extensions/wdavkext.kext/", ID = "" }
    Diagnostics for /Library/Extensions/wdavkext.kext:
  2. Open System Preferences... > Security & Privacy from the menu. (Close it first, if it's opened.)

  3. Allow system software from developers "Microsoft Corporation"

  4. In Terminal, install the driver again. This time the operation will succeed:

mavel-mojave:~ testuser$ sudo kextutil /Library/Extensions/wdavkext.kext

The banner should disappear from the Defender application, and mdatp --health should now report that Real Time Protection is both enabled and available:

mavel-mojave:~ testuser$ mdatp --health
realTimeProtectionAvailable             : true
realTimeProtectionEnabled               : true

Client configuration

  1. Copy wdav.pkg and to the machine where you deploy Microsoft Defender ATP for Mac.

    The client machine is not associated with orgId. Note that the orgid is blank.

    mavel-mojave:wdavconfig testuser$ mdatp --health orgId
  2. Install the configuration file on a client machine:

    mavel-mojave:wdavconfig testuser$ python
    Generating /Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Defender/ ... (You may be required to enter sudos password)
  3. Verify that the machine is now associated with orgId:

    mavel-mojave:wdavconfig testuser$ mdatp --health orgId

After installation, you'll see the Microsoft Defender icon in the macOS status bar in the top-right corner.

Microsoft Defender icon in status bar screenshot

Logging installation issues

See Logging installation issues for more information on how to find the automatically generated log that is created by the installer when an error occurs.


See Uninstalling for details on how to remove Microsoft Defender ATP for Mac from client devices.